Thomas and Percy around the ceiling layout

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by chopp3r, Dec 31, 2004.

  1. chopp3r

    chopp3r New Member

    Hey Guys
    I just finished the basic layout for my two-and-a-half year old's around the ceiling layout in his bedroom.
    I am running Bachmann HO Thomas and Percy on the same track(Bachmann EZtrack) and sometimes one tries to overtake the other...I thought they would operate at the same speed...wonder what gives? I guess one engine is just faster than the other? My plan is to feed power from 2 opposite corners of the oval but I only have one wired for now.
    I am a little disappointed because there is really no way to do any kinda scenery and have it be seen-- the layout is so high... but maybe ya'll will have some suggestions?
    Also I think some kind of guard rail or fence is gonna be imparative to reduce the risk of skull fractures etc...any ideas on this?
    Happy New Year

    ps I will post pix within the hour!! stay tuned.
  2. chopp3r

    chopp3r New Member

    and some pix---!

    ok well here are some pix...
    still needs paint and the shelf brackets have covers that make em not so ugly


    Happy New Year!
  3. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    chopp3r it looks really good. I myself am i thomas the tank engine fan ( for me being 20 LOL ) i still once and awhile get mine out. I have most of the diecast ones. It is a great thing for little ones to get involved with. That's how my dad got me started with trains, he bought me thomas the tank engine trains.
  4. chopp3r

    chopp3r New Member

    Thanks LiveSteamer!
    Yeah I had a HO scale set when I was a kid but never a layout...
    My son Griffin loves Thomas and has just about every incarnation of him. =)
    I really sorta enjoy the shows myself =)

    I dunno the more I get used to the shelf the more I think there are scenery possibilities...but I would love to hear suggestions.
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Locomotives never seem to operate at the same speed; even if you had 2 Thomases, one would probably gain on the other.
    There are some contraptions that you can get that will stop a train that gets too close to another one. Usually involves a pair of contacts, a latching relay, and a stretch of isolated track. I don't know of any for EZ track.
  6. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Hmm... maybe you could build one of those around MY room? :p

    Hehehe. Looks amazing. The sorta thing I've always wanted. The problem is, you really can't "play" with the trains.

    Anyway, I would put up some sort of a railing just for safety. It can be obscure enough to not stand out.

    That's what I hated about DC control--one engine would usually overtake another. It can't be helped. And a block system would be complicated. I just switched to DCC, but for your situation, I think you're better off just running one train at a time around the room. You don't want to have two running, and come back to find they're on the floor in a million pieces!

  7. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Cool - Nice work chopp3r :D :D Looks better than mine :) :)
  8. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    :) You can put those flat buildings against the wall for the trains to run in front of...(Raise them 1" above the shelf & cut the bottoms if necessary) Also get pictures of scenery (do a search for Thomas - you might get some nice shots) You can see them from the other side of the room - It's really a cool illusion!! Everyone thought we were nuts when we designed it, but it worked out great!!!

    Remember - no "long trains" they derail around the corners.. and run it slow!! :) I've had mine up for almost 6 years - I have the Shay on it now, no chance of running that one fast :D :D :D

    As far as 3 dimentional scenery - This is what I did. I got some packing foam, spray painted it & nailed it up with finish nails :D :D

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  9. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Oh yeah.... something else I haven't gotten around to - You can put thin Plexiglass around it, but, I've never needed it as long as I keep the trains about 8 - 10 cars in lenght & run them slow :) :)

    AND Keep those rails clean!!!! LOL That's a pain!!! I got a track cleaner & it's working so far :) :) But it's a pain getting up on a chair (mine is in my dining room) if the train decides to hit a dirty spot in the track & stall :( I can ususlly use a broom handle to tap on the shelf end & get them started again :D :D

    Dang!! I'm giving away all my secrets!! :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:
  10. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Have you considered taking inexpensive particle board and cutting hill and building profiles, painting them with simple details? Add "bottlebrush" pine trees and the smaller bagged animals found in Dollar General, Family Dollar or the Dollar Store as final details.

    Great job on the shelf :thumb: :thumb: As 60103 say's, it is tough to even get the same model/make of loco to run at the same speed.
  11. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    That would look cool!!! Now you're making me think again!!! :D :D :D
  12. chopp3r

    chopp3r New Member

    Thanks for all the response guys,
    I have it all primered up and ready for topcoat tonight.

    Yeah I agree Trainwhiz20, its not a layout ya can play with or appreciate in the traditional sense. But I think my son is much too young to be having hands on with electric trains. And yeah DCC seems really cool, maybe next xmas?

    N Gauger- thanks for the compliments and suggestions, what scale ya running up there...N? Yeah I bought a pretty nifty $30 stepstool at Home Depot thinking I could use it for track maintenance, etc. but its about a foot short...I have to use the big ladder to get the trains off and on the track..ugh!

    Shaygetz- thats good thinking with the 2d "cutouts."

    But here is what I am thinking- put a second track around the outside oval of this one maybe about 5" higher- A Mountain ridge theme maybe? I am gonna have plenty of time to think about it because I probably wont be able to actually work on this project again for awhile... but Phase I will be finally be completed tonight! (my vacation is over- back to work tommorrow =( )
  13. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    It's HO :) about 10 X 12 Ft around the walls about 4" from the ceiling :) :)
  14. chopp3r

    chopp3r New Member

    cool...yeah I'm about 8" from the ceiling on mine 12'x12' -your shelf looks narrower than mine...I think the narrow shelf might've been a better choice-
  15. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Used 1 x 4 for mine - but now, I'm sorry I did - I only hae room for one line - I really would have wanted 2 :)
  16. chopp3r

    chopp3r New Member

    Phase I complete

    here are few shots of the painted shelf

  17. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    That's got to be a thrill for the little guy! As far as scenery is concerned, some excellent ideas have been posted, but here's another that I've been kicking around in my head for awhile.

    Since Thomas and friends truly are "toy" engines, how about toy-like scenery? Dowels and wooden balls painted green for deciduous trees, wooden cones painted dark green for pine trees, and buildings made out building block sets - the kind that come with arches, pillars and triangular pieces, painted various bright colours.

    I've always thought it would be fun to do a layout that looks deliberately toy-like.

    Just a thought.

  18. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Nice Pics & Neat Idea Val :) Lego's come to mind hehehehe

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